What is “tonnage” in HVAC?

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It’s the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. The word “tonnage” is used to describe the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. One ton of cooling is the rate of heat transfer needed to freeze 2,000 lbs – or one ton – of water in 24 hours. This is equivalent to 12,000 Btu/hr.

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